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Hurricane Recovery and Economic Impact

By David O'Malley | September 11, 2017

The one-two punch of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has impacted so many in Texas, Florida and throughout the Southern part of the U.S. We keep all of those impacted in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery.
Markets will be looking at how these two storms will impact the economy both in the near term and farther down the line. In the short term, the potential is for the storms to put downward pressure on economic performance and distort statistics (like the rise in unemployment claims last week), but the rebuilding process will be a boost to the economy.

Misery Index on Track for New Lows

By Mark Heppenstall | July 13, 2017

The Misery Index, developed in the 1960s by Yale University economist Arthur Okun, has been a widely followed measure of national economic performance. The Index is calculated by simply adding together the trailing 12-month inflation rate and current unemployment rate. This week’s chart shows a 70-year history of the Misery Index in the U.S.

May Employment Report Comes in Below Expectations and Raises Questions about the Economy and Fed

By David O'Malley | June 5, 2017

The May employment report was released on Friday and was weaker than expected. On the positive side, the unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4% in April. The current level of unemployment should be putting upward pressure on wages; however, the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) appears to be lower than most experts predicted. Average hourly earnings, which I have been watching closely, increased by a disappointing 0.2% in May, leaving the year-over-year increase at a stable 2.5%.

S&P 500 Fails to Break 2400 – For Now

By David O'Malley | May 15, 2017

The S&P 500 failed to break the 2400 level last week but did set an all-time closing high of 2399.63 on Wednesday, May 10. The market continues to drive higher, led by technology stocks and decent first quarter earnings. I expect stocks to continue to grind higher for the next several weeks.

Employment Continues to Improve

By David O'Malley | October 10, 2016

Last week the release of the September employment report confirmed the continued moderate pace of improvement in employment. The improvement in labor force participation is the most important positive aspect of the report.

August Employment Report was Inconclusive

By David O'Malley | September 6, 2016

The employment report last week was mediocre, which makes my predictions for September less certain. During August the economy created 151,000 new jobs, below the last two months but not low enough to create concerns.

U.S. Employment Trends Remain Favorable

By David O'Malley | August 8, 2016

The July payroll report on U.S. employment backed up the strong June report with another favorable sign for hiring. July non-farm payrolls rose by 255,000, with a net 18,000 positive… Read More



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This blog post is for informational use only. The views expressed are those of the author, Dave O’Malley, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Penn Mutual Asset Management. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and it is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.

Any statements about financial and company performance of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company or its insurance subsidiaries (each, “Client”) made by the author is provided with a written consent from the Client.  Penn Mutual Asset Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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